Friday, July 08, 2011

A Little Learning

This morning, I read through all the prescribing information on my New Magical Asthma Meds- you know, that enormously long sheet in tiny print that they include for the delectation of the medical professionals and professionally curious among us. At the very, very end, it says "Contains lactose (contains milk proteins)."

I have a severe dairy-protein allergy.  So what I need to know is: does it have a legally-relevant quantity, or a biochemically-relevant quantity?

The pharmacist is confused why I am asking this to start.  The company says "Ahh... it's USP grade?"  My doctor says "Well, you took it before [NO, I took the HFA-propelled version] and the lactose protein* probably isn't relevant."

None of these people has inspired me with confidence.

*Lactose isn't a protein.


  1. dude. -ose = sugar. even lil ol me knows that, and i have an mfa, for pete's sake.

    still, you're probably overreacting*. inhaling aerosolized allergens deep into already-seizing lungs: what could go wrong?

    *or, you know, you will be. badda-bing.

  2. I know. This couldn't possibly end badly, could it?

  3. My brother has a PharmD and his wife is a super-crazy-specialized pharmacist working in a clinical setting. One of them might know the answer to your question or know how you should be able to find the information you need. I can ask them about it if you shoot me an email with the name of the med.

  4. Mrs. W: thanks! Believe it or not the local Evil Big Chain pharmacist actually called the company, then called me back, with the information that no, I shouldn't take it, and would I like him to call my doctor? (Yes. My ears itch.)

    My estimate is that it contains about ten micrograms of casein. A 5-mg amount of milk protein by mouth is enough to give me a pretty serious allergic reaction, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility. But AAARGH.


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